How long does it take to adopt infants and why is it so hard?

Why is the adoption process sometimes such a long and hard road? Gregory Keck, PhD Psychologist & Adoption Expert, explains how long it usually takes to adopt a baby and why it typically can take such a long time
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How long does it take to adopt infants and why is it so hard?

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A lot of people are interested in doing infant adoptions and I think there's this idea that there aren't any available. I think if people started with Social Services because there certainly are babies available from Children's Services, Social Services, most private agencies who are doing adoptions domestically have babies available. The waiting lists are variable. Sometimes there is not a waiting list, sometimes there is. I think, again, talking to a number of adoption agencies, but they could also contact....people who are interested could contact the American Association of Adoption Attorneys who always have birth mothers who are waiting to help select a family who want an open adoption primarily, and the families can do private adoptions that way as well. So I think there are some options and most states have regulation about how much it can cost. If you're doing an inter-country adoption those aren't regulated in terms of cost. But in the United States attorneys who are doing adoptions can only charge certain amount of money so you're not paying $30,000 or $40,000 because the states regulate it carefully so that you can't be buying babies or influencing the birth mothers. So people doing private adoptions are aware, of course, of all those laws. And I think it's not as glum as people sometimes feel it is, but again, I would think looking at the foster care system and doing a foster care to adopt would be an option because if you had a baby from birth which many people do, and even if she's not available for adoption until she's three she's still in your family. So psychologically you have become the psychological parent and while adoption is simply a legal document so it really doesn't matter in terms of the child's development. But I think people are fearful sometimes that the baby won't become available for adoption and will have to go back to the birth family and I think that is a risk, but that's a risk for people doing pregnant adoptions with birth mothers in this country as well. And I think that's why many people spend large amounts of money and go to other countries because that doesn't happen. The adoptions are final in whatever country you go to and they're American citizens when they come back there's not the risk of losing them to anybody else. But I think it's not all as bad as sometimes people are told it is.

Why is the adoption process sometimes such a long and hard road? Gregory Keck, PhD Psychologist & Adoption Expert, explains how long it usually takes to adopt a baby and why it typically can take such a long time

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Gregory Keck, PhD

Founder & Director, Attachment & Bonding Center of Ohio

Gregory C. Keck, Ph.D., is the founder and director of the Attachment & Bonding Center of Ohio. He is an internationally known psychologist and trainer who addresses the issues of trauma, adoption, and post-adoption challenges. He and his staff provide attachment therapy for adoptive families whose children have experienced serious early childhood maltreatment prior to adoption. In 2012, he received the National Association of Social Workers State of Ohio Lifetime Achievement Award. He is the parent of two sons who were adopted in adolescence.

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